Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force on 29 December 1993. It has 3 main objectives: 1) The conservation of biological diversity, 2) The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity, and 3) The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

SER has collaborated with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) since 2007 on the ways and means to support ecosystem restoration as a practical tool for the Parties to the Convention. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) provides advice on the implementation of the Convention and meets twice between each Conference of Parties (COP). Below is a brief summary of SER’s contributions to recent SBSTTA and COP meetings with links to all relevant documents.


CBD COP 11:  October 8-19, 2012  |  Hyderabad, India

Information Note XI/1 – Ecosystem Restoration Guidance and Guidelines

Information Note XI/2 – Ecosystem Restoration Tools and Technologies

Information Note XI/3 – Ecosystem Restoration Definition and Descriptions

Ecosystem Restoration at the Rio Pavilion


CBD SBSTTA 15:  November 7-11, 2011  |  Montreal, Canada

SER Plenary Statement – November 7, 2011

An excerpt of the statement delivered by Steve Whisenant, Chair of SER Board of Directors: Ecological Restoration is not a justification for degrading or damaging ecosystems! Ecological restoration involves a continuum of activities – ranging in scale and complexity from species re-introductions and the removal of harmful invasive alien species, to the repair of dysfunctional ecosystem processes, such as hydrology or nutrient cycling. However, restoration is not simply a biophysical repair process - both degradation and restoration are profoundly influenced by policy, economics, and culture. Our collective challenge is to shape those human influences with policies that discourage degradation and facilitate restoration.

SER2011 Call to Action (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/15/INF/13)

This is a call to action from the 1000 delegates – representing scientists and practitioners, environmental NGOs, private corporations, government agencies, and community and indigenous leaders from over 60 countries – who gathered in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico from August 21-24, 2011. Recognizing the critical importance of our global ecological infrastructure as the foundation for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem resilience, sustainable livelihoods, and future economic prosperity, the delegates strongly urge the CBD Parties to act swiftly to deliver on the restoration commitments embedded in the new CBD Strategic Plan and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

SER Brochure: Investing in our Ecological Infrastructure – November 8, 2011

Whether restoring a watershed to provide clean drinking water for large urban areas or restoring mangroves for fisheries and storm protection, societies and governments can save billions of dollars by helping nature do what it does best. Investing in our ecological infrastructure is a cost-effective strategy for achieving national and global objectives, such as increased resilience to climate change, reduced risk from natural disaster, and improved food and water security - all of which contribute directly to poverty alleviation, sustainable livelihoods and job creation.

SER Abstract and Poster – November 7-11, 2011

SER’s vision for a sustainable and desirable future - where people live and work with nature - requires both bottom-up and top-down planning that includes the implementation of conservation programs, sustainable resource use and management, and an increasing investment in restoration activities. This vision calls for concerted and collaborative efforts among all stakeholders involved in managing natural capital in the public, private and NGO sectors, and the development of frameworks for nested governance and vertical integration to provide them with the guidance they need to ensure successful restoration outcomes and the equitable distribution of ecosystem benefits.

SER Side Events – November 7 and 8, 2011

On November 7, SER co-hosted a side event on the Economic Rationale for Restoration with the CBD Secretariat where Steve Whisenant, Keith Bowers and James Aronson made presentations and released SER’s new brochure Investing in our Ecological Infrastructure. On November 8, SER co-hosted a side event Restoring Life – Challenges and Hopes in Ecosystem Restoration with the CBD Secretariat and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.

CBD COP 10 – October 18-29, 2010

SER Statement to Working Group II – October 19, 2010

The Society for Ecological Restoration, like the Parties to the Convention, sees ecosystem restoration as a science-driven, cost-effective, participatory approach to enhancing biodiversity values, improving the delivery of ecosystem services for sustainable livelihoods, and mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change. The Society looks forward to working with the Secretariat and Parties to the Convention at COP11 on identifying the ways and means to support ecosystem restoration, including the development of practical guidance on restoration and related measures that will enhance the capacity of the Parties to restore degraded ecosystems and achieve the 2020 headline targets.

SER Side Event: Restoring Ecosystem Services: Biodiversity, Sustainable Livelihoods and Climate Change

Presenters from SER, Ramsar and Parks Canada described real-world examples of ecological restoration from around the globe. The side event focus was on the effectiveness of restoration projects in response to socio-economic and environmental challenges. In addition, the presenters highlighted the importance of a global network of restoration professionals to assist the Parties with ecosystem restoration and species recovery.

CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets

Biological diversity underpins ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecosystem services essential for human well-being. It provides for food security, human health, the provision of clean air and water; it contributes to local livelihoods, and economic development, and is essential for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, including poverty reduction. In addition it is a central component of many belief systems, worldviews and identities. Yet despite its fundamental importance, biodiversity continues to be lost. It is against this backdrop that the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, in 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 with the purpose of inspiring broad-based action in support of biodiversity over the next decade by all countries and stakeholders.


CBD SBSTTA 14:  May 10-14, 2010  |  Nairobi, Kenya

SER Information Note (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/14/INF/15)

Ecological restoration is driven by the search for pragmatic solutions to environmental and human crises. It is a conscious intervention based on traditional or local knowledge, scientific understanding, and the recognition that what previously existed was precious and indeed necessary for the continued survival of many species, including humans. Strategic, integrated identification and implementation of conservation and restoration activities can help to assure the protection and recovery of species and ecosystems, and the ongoing delivery of ecological goods and services at levels required for a healthy planet.

SER Presentation to the CBD Secretariat – September 22, 2008

George Gann, Chair of the SER Board of Directors, Nikita (Nik) Lopoukhine, Former Chair of the SER Board of Directors, and Sasha Alexander, SER Program Director held informal meetings with the CBD Executive Secretary, Ahmed Djoughlaf, and various department heads within the Secretariat. SER also made a presentation to the entire staff entitled SER and the CBD: Working Together for Biodiversity.


CBD COP 9:  May 19-30, 2008  |  Bonn, Germany

SER Briefing Note on the Integration of Conservation and Restoration

SER was an observer organization at the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) held in Bonn, Germany in May 2008, where a Briefing Note on the complementary roles of conservation and restoration within the Ecosystem Approach was released.